Johnnie Chatman, i forgot where we were…
2020 En Foco Fellowship Exhibition
April 1–May 29, 2021
Artist talk with Johnnie Chatman
Wednesday, May 19, 5:00 PM PDT on Zoom
Blue Sky Gallery
122 NW 8th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97209 USA
Please note that these days and hours may change as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 situation in Multnomah County. Our exhibitions will continue to be on display on the TV monitors in our front windows and available on our website.
In this chapter of his self-portrait series, Johnnie Chatman inserts himself into the topography of the American West, drawing attention to the exclusionary narratives, myths, and histories that have long been associated with these iconic landscapes. Through these visual interventions, Chatman shifts the focus to black histories and experiences. Chatman observes, “Like the black body, the West is a complex, unstable signifier given meaning by those who have lived within it, passed through it, conquered it, settled, farmed, militarized, urbanized, and dreamed it…the project explores the ambiguity and multiplicity of blackness oscillating between a space of romance and critique, objective research, and personal narrative.”
Johnnie Chatman is a Californian lens-based artist currently residing in New York. He holds an MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Chatman’s work has been featured in exhibitions across the United States, including at Fraenkel Gallery, HereArts, SF Camerawork, Figge Art Museum, and Sioux Art Center. His work can be found in many private and public collections including at the Figge Art Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His work has been featured in publications including Dear Dave, Nueva Lutz, and Zoetrope All-Story. He is also the founder and curator of Terms & Conditions, an experimental film screening series. In 2020, Chatman was awarded an En Foco Photography Fellowship.
Please visit enfoco.org to learn more about the En Foco Fellowship program.